Helicopter pilot program landing at UFV

School partnering with Chinook Helicopters to develop new aviation program

Cathy Press (left)

Cathy Press (left)

A new helicopter training program could take off from the University of the Fraser Valley as early as September 2017.

The school’s aviation department has entered into an agreement with Chinook Helicopters to develop a two-year diploma.

UFV currently has a two-year aviation diploma and a four-year bachelor of business and aviation program, both for fixed-wing aircraft.

The new program will equip students far beyond a helicopter, by teaching communication, business and leadership skills as well.

“UFV is thrilled to be partnering with Chinook Helicopters – the Canadian leader of training in this sector,” said Tracy Ryder Glass, dean of professional studies at UFV, in a statement. “… the partnership will look at offering students one more pathway to achieving their goals in aviation and how we can help provide the aviation industry with superbly trained helicopter pilots.”

The current agreement between UFV and Chinook will examine training processes that ensure Transport Canada standards are met by students obtaining their helicopter pilot’s licence. The partnership will also explore the demand for newly licensed helicopter pilots in the aviation industry.

Cathy Press, president of Chinook Helicopters, said: “During our initial talks about establishing this option, we have had tremendous encouragement from the management of the Abbotsford Airport, the university and others who view this as one more step towards establishing Abbotsford as a centre for aviation excellence.”

Established in 1982, Chinook provides a full spectrum of basic and specialized advanced flight and ground training to the global community. The company is privately owned and operates from a facility at the Abbotsford Airport.